As Georgia Power closes its ash ponds, water in the ponds must be removed so the ash pond can either be excavated or closed in place using proven engineering methods and technologies. The water will be tested and comprehensively treated before either being discharged through a permitted outfall, or reused for plant processes. This treatment and removal activity is known as "dewatering". Throughout the dewatering process, the company is committed to protecting water quality standards by meeting the requirements of the Effluent Limitations Guidelines Rule and its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and detailed dewatering plans, as well as the Coal Combustion Residuals Rules.
Georgia Power provides advance notice to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) before dewatering any ash pond by preparing and submitting an "ash pond dewatering plan" to EPD for its approval. That plan identifies the enhanced water treatment system controls and testing that will be used during the process to ensure that the water discharged is below water quality standards.
Through the information provided, learn how we are protecting the environment by removing water from ash ponds during the closure process at our power plants across the state.
Ongoing testing is an integral part of the dewatering process to ensure water quality is protected. Testing is conducted at three points through the dewatering process:
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Georgia Power is actively sampling and testing the treated water in accordance with its EPD-approved dewatering plans. Third-party contractors are collecting the samples and these samples are analyzed by accredited independent laboratories.
Georgia Power provides tables that summarize individual rounds of testing at each plant to communicate its dewatering results with the public. Detailed footnotes are included to clearly explain the results contained in the tables.
Since 2016, Georgia Power has installed approximately 600 groundwater monitoring wells to actively monitor groundwater quality around its ash ponds and on-site landfills. These wells are sited, installed, and sampled by third-party professional engineers and geologists. Georgia Power maintains and tests the extensive groundwater monitoring well networks to assess any impacts to groundwater from the ash ponds and landfills.
View plant specific documents for groundwater monitoring, dewatering, ash pond closures and CCR rule compliance.